« السابقةمتابعة »
tortuous course, full of whirlpools and having many ravines. Driven out of this position, they took shelter in the ravines about half a kos behind their camp. Finding here no place of security, Chattarsál with his sons, their relations and dependents, having mounted on horseback in order to escape notice, made off twelve kos into the jungle. All the camp equipage, tents and cannon fell into the hands of the victors. Pursuit was made for a distance of two kos; the Muhammadans then halted and encamped. It was soon learnt that the Bundelas had gone off to the vicinity of Sálhat, Damdast, and Thána Paswárah.* These places are described as full of high hills, deep lakes, torrent beds, ravines, and thorny jungle of great extent. The Bundela leaders had thrown up entrenchments, intending to dispute the passage. Chattarsál himself took up a position at Surajmau some kos south of Jaitpur.
Muhammad Khán estimated his own loss in the above battle at four thousand to five thousand killed and wounded; and that of the enemy at twelve to thirteen thousand. The Muhammadan army was reduced to some fourteen or fifteen thousand horse, and there was a great scarcity of water and fodder. Not a single one of the Rajahs or faujdars had joined him.
The auxiliary forces of the Bundelas, numbering some forty thousand horse and one hundred thousand foot, were made up by the troops of the Rájah of Mándo,† of the Gahilwárs of Bijipur,‡ of Khánḍe Ráe Narwari,§ of the zamindars of zila' Málwá, of all Gondwána and Malak Gaḍh,|| with the Gaurs and the Parihárs of the country round.
The oral tradition of this battle gives a more romantic version of it. It is as follows: One day before the battle,¶ Muhammad Khán distributed ninety thousand rupees among the troops; and the heralds (nakib) announced that, the morrow being fixed for the decisive struggle, every man must be ready armed by midnight. On the other side Chattarsál made his preparations. His army consisted of one hundred thousand foot and seventy thousand horse. Several other Rájahs followed his standard.
From the hour of morning prayer the battle began. The contending leaders advanced slowly towards each other on elephants. Skirmishing parties were thrown out from both sides. The Khalifa used to say that he had at one time expended all the arrows from his quiver. So many were
About 6 miles north-east of Mahoba.
† Mándogarh, 22 miles west of Riwah.
Possibly the Bijipur in Scindiah's territory, 52 miles south-west of Gwáliár. Thornton, 120.
§ Narwar, a town about 40 miles south of Gwáliár.
Query. The Garh Kotah 25 miles east of Ságar. Thornton, 324.
¶ The authority for these details is Khalífa Ná'im, son of Káli Miyan Jí, the teach
er of the Nawáb's chelas, who told the author of the "Lauh-i-Tarikh."
lying about, however, that by holding on to his saddle and stooping over, he plucked up eighteen in one handful. About midday the Nawáb's elephant rushed at and struck that of Mangal Khán Musenagari,* and ran after it for some little distance. Chattarsál's army thought that Muhammad Khán had taken to flight. With one voice all the Bundelas shouted out that the Bangash had fled. Hearing this outery, Muhammad Khán turned round with his face to the back of the howdah, calling out as was his custom "Baháduro, yihi wakt baháduri ká hai." He asked the elephantdriver what this fighting meant, it had never occurred before, when the man explained that intending to fight Chattarsál's elephant, he had drugged his own. The elephant was again turned to face the enemy.
Muhammad Khán, armed to the teeth, was standing up to his full height in his howdah, the sides of which were some three feet high. Suddenly they see bearing down upon them two Bundela horsemen with spears in their hands, and as they come they avoid all encounter. When stopped by any of Muhammad Khán's men, they reply, "We have something to tell your Nawáb." At length they came close to Muhammad Khán's elephant. There they halted, and one of them got out a small bag from his waist-cloth and eat some tobacco. Then grasping his spear firmly in his hand, he shouted out "Bangash, keep a sharp look out, I am at you." He so impelled his horse, that it placed its two forefeet on the trunk of the Nawáb's elephant; he then made a thrust with his spear. The Nawáb avoided the blow, and shot an arrow at the man with such force, that he fell dead from his horse. The horse was killed by the elephant. The second horseman did as the first, and was killed in the same way. The Nawab exclaimed to Mangal Khán Musenagari-" How brave must these Bundelas be."
Bhúre Khán, chela, now placed himself at the head of a number of brave Patháns and penetrated the enemy's army, intending to kill Chattarsál. Bhúre Khán lost his own life instead, and the Nawáb's son, Akbar Khán, received a bullet wound. For the loss of Bhúre Khán the Nawáb wept, and for many days after the battle wore orange-coloured clothes in sign of mourning, saying, "What Bhúre said was true, he said he would die before me."
About two hours to sunset the elephants of Nawáb Muhammad Khán and Rájah Chattarsál met face to face. Chattarsál seated under an iron
* Musenagar, parganah Bhognípur, Cawnpur district, on the left bank of the Jamna some 13 or 14 miles east of Kálpi.
† The tradition is that the Nawáb's arrows bore a head of several fingers' breadth, a shot from his bow usually killed any one hit. Up to Shaukat Jang's time (1813— 1823) there were several of these arrows in the Armoury, and Chaudhri 'Alim-ullah, bearer of the Fish standard, had several of them.
plated canopy was encouraging his troops to the final onset. Nawáb Muhammad Khán aimed at the canopy with a steel javelin (sáng) which breaking through struck the elephant. Chattarsál himself swooned. The attendant in the hind seat said to the mahaut—“ Drive off the elephant; the fight will be renewed to-morrow." Chattarsál's elephant was turned round and it fled for many miles. His troops began to retreat, and Ani Ráo, sister's son to the Rájah, was killed. The Patháns ran hither and thither despatching the flying Bundelas.
At night-fall Chattarsál came to his senses and asked who had won. His courtiers said, "No one has gained the victory, when you became insen"sible we retreated eight or ten miles, to-morrow morning we will renew "the engagement." Chattarsál flew into a passion with his brothers and nephews, and declared that he would never retreat before Muhammad Khán. He wanted to know why they had brought him away, he would either go back or else take his own life. No one listened to his words.
The whole night long Nawáb Muhammad Khán and his men remained in arms upon the field of battle, expecting the return of the Bundelas. Not a single man got leave to go for food or water. Near at hand was a wild plum tree on which there was some unripe fruit. These were gathered one by one, and the Nawáb's mahaut driving his elephant up to the tree collected some of the plums, part of which he gave to the Nawáb.
On the 29th Shawwál, 1139 H. (8th June, 1727), twenty-seven days after the first battle, the imperial army marched towards the enemy's posiAt one watch before sunrise on the 1st Zi'l-ka'd (9th June, 1727), Muhammad Khán mounted and placed himself at the head of his troops. Before, however, they could come to close quarters, and while they were still one kos distant, the enemy broke and fled towards Mahoba* and elsewhere. Those who lingered were slain. The forts of Bárigarh,† the residence of Khán Jahán, the sister's son of Chattarsál, and Lahuri-Jhumar,‡ submitted at once to the parties sent against them. The Muhammadans then encamped one kos beyond Mahoba, while the enemy lurked in the hills of Sálhat,§ there being but two kos left between the armies. Further progress was delayed by heavy rain, which rendered it impossible in that soil to place one foot before another.
At this point there seems to have been a delay of some five months during which the advance was suspended. It was not till the 17th Rabi II, 1140 H. (21st Nov., 1727) that the army got near to Sálhat.
* In the south of the Hamirpur District.
+ Ten miles S. E. by E. from Mahoba.
16 miles S. E. of Mahoba.
§ Mr. Cadell tells me that Sálhat is still a well-known jungle between Mahoba and Jaitpur.
day Harde Sáh arrived to re-inforce Jagat Ráe. The enemy, from the strong and high earth-works which they had thrown up on the hills, kept up a musketry fire and discharge of arrows. This went on the whole day, and nearly one hundred of the enemy were killed and many were wounded. The Muhammadans also lost some men. At sunset the enemy gave way and many were destroyed by the artillery fire. Half of the hill and jungle was gained. Efforts were then directed to cutting down the jungle and making a road.
Another delay of four months appears now to have interposed. The complaint of Muhammad Khán is that the enemy were scattered all over the country like ants or locusts. Without numerous troops nothing could be done, and already all the troops, that could be paid from the two lakhs of rupees a month, had been entertained, while there was a further force under Káim Khán engaged in the siege of Tarahwán.
On the 6th Ramzán, 1140 (5th April, 1728) the army reached its encampment between Sálhat and Kulpahár.* The attack on the enemy was made on the 20th Ramzán (19th April, 1728). One kos beyond Kulpahár there are numerous high hills covered with thorny jungle. Here the enemy had prepared seven entrenched places, with two strong outworks in front. The walls and ditch were carried back on each side to the hill itself. On the summit of the hills were posted some of their best men who, as soon as the Muhammadans appeared, began to fire down upon them. The walls were first breached by artillery fire, when an assault was ordered. The enemy then retreated to the second outwork, where the contest was renewed. Thus, step by step, the hill was gained and all the entrenchments cleared. During the following night, about midnight, Harde Narayan, Jagat Ráe and Mohan Singh attempted a night surprise, but without result, although three distinct attacks were made.
On the 21st Ramzán (20th April, 1728) Muhammad Khán started for Mundhári† where there was a fort built of stone on a hill surrounded by thick jungle. Although the defenders fired down on the scaling party, the fort was taken. There the army encamped and prepared for a further advance. The enemy's leaders then brought their infantry into the wood, which stretches far and wide for many kos. From the shelter of the trees they began to discharge their arrows and kept up a severe fire of musketry. Their skirmishers were soon expelled by the Muhammadans, headed by Akbar Khán, the Nawabs son. Muhammad Khán also advanced in person to his support. Many heads of the fallen foe were cut off and brought in, with many stray horses which, together with a number of loaded baggage-camels, became the booty of the army.
* About 6 miles N. E. of Jaitpur.
This I take to be Moorhari of the maps, 4 miles E. of Jaitpur.
The Muhammadans now fixed their camp in front of Kulpahár, with Jaitpur on their right, Mundhári slightly on one side in the same direction, and the hills of Sálhat, occupied by the enemy, on their left. Daily skirmishes occurred whenever the troops were out clearing away the jungle.
The enemy now gathered themselves together in the hills of Ajhnar,* which is three kos beyond Jaitpur, and Surajmau, which is the same distance from that place. The Muhammadan camp was moved into the hills beyond Jaitpur, while active preparations were made for the siege of Jaitpur itself. It had taken twenty months to drive the Bundelas as far west as Ajhnar. These twenty months, if we count from the 12th Jamádi II, 1139, (24th January, 1727), the date of crossing the Jamna, would end in Safar, 1140 (August, 1728).
During the rainy season (July to October, 1728), the siege progressed but slowly. Owing to the excessive moisture the mines fell in as soon as dug. The fort was protected on one side by a lake of great depth, one kos wide and several kos long, it was placed on a hill, and the enemy had mounted it with cannon and "rahkla.” It was not till four months or so afterwards that the place fell. By the time it had been taken, the campaign had lasted over twenty-four months (Jamadi II, 1139, to Jamadi I, 1141 January 1727 to December 1728).
At this period Muhammad Khán saw reason to complain bitterly of the way he was treated at Court. He says he had performed the work of seven or eight men, that he was fighting night and day; yet no honours were granted for his sons or relations, nor pensions to the dependents of those who had fallen. Instead of reward, their jágirs were resumed. The parganah of Shahpur,† he was now told, had been granted for one harvest only, although it had been given in exchange for a gift of two krors of "dám." In the affair of Ajit Singh of Márwár, lakhs had been given away, while all that Muhammad Khán had asked was the restoration of one parganah.
For the preceding six months the enemy had caused confusion in parts of parganah Panwári. ‡ Darak Singh, an ally of Chattarsál's, now took up a position with two thousand horse and five thousand foot in the strong fort of Sahandig on the banks of a river extremely difficult to cross. Orders were given to Muhammad Bishárat Multáni, who commanded in Ráth,|| to coerce Darak Singh and take his fort. This man showed little zeal or energy, for he camped a long time in zila' Auli on pretence of conciliat
*Six miles S. of Jaitpur.
Now in the Cawnpur District.
The parganah N. W. of Jaitpur, in the Hamirpur District.
§ Mr. Cadell suggests Seonri, on the Dassan, 6 miles N. W. of Panwári.
About 12 miles N. of Panwári town.
¶ Query. Orái in the Jalaun District, the "1" being interchangeable with “r”